Clark Atlanta University’s Dean of the School of Business Administration is the newest member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Special Committee on Payments and Inclusion.

Dr. Silvanus J. Udoka, Ph.D., is one of fourteen new committee members appointed to serve on the committee organized to find solutions for cash-reliant individuals to become better connected to the economy, and to innovative financial services.

“It is important to make sure that there is not just one path to financial inclusion. By focusing on payments inclusion, we hope to ensure that cash-based users and vulnerable populations are not further marginalized from innovative financial services,” said Raphael Bostic, president of the Atlanta Fed and chair of the new committee.

“By bringing together people from a diverse set of backgrounds and focusing them specifically on the issue of inclusion, we expect conversations unlike others that have touched on this subject.”

The committee, a public- and private-sector collaboration sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, will also work to advance ubiquitous access to safe, efficient, and inclusive payments for everyone.

Payments innovations such as digital wallets, mobile payments, and person-to-person payment apps offer convenience to many consumers and businesses, but they also raise concerns about how to include populations already marginally attached to the economy.

This collaboration of payments and financial inclusion experts will conduct research on emerging issues in payments inclusion, collect and analyze data to better understand trends in the evolving payments ecosystem, and make recommendations to the industry and policymakers based on research findings.

The committee will be active for two years. At the end of this term, committee members and the Atlanta Fed will determine if there is additional work to pursue and may decide to extend the committee’s work and chart a path forward for the collaboration.

“With the rapid advances in financial technologies and payment innovations, it is vitally important that society is intentional in assuring that whole segments of the populace are not excluded consciously or unconsciously from commerce,” Udoka said
“The work of this Committee will provide insight to inform policymakers and practitioners across all sectors of the economy. It will also heighten awareness to purposefully promote inclusiveness in financial transactions, especially for the segment of the population who currently rely on cash as their primary means of conducting transactions.”

Mary Kepler, Atlanta Fed senior vice president and chief risk officer, will serve as deputy chair of the committee. Other members of the Special Committee on Payments Inclusion include:

  • David Benck, senior vice president and general counsel, Hibbett Sports
  • Sudheer Chava, Alton M. Costley chair and professor of finance, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Denise Dias, digital finance policy, regulation and supervision expert, CGAP-The World Bank-Toronto Centre
  • Andrea Donkor, vice president, regulatory relations, PayPal
  • Timothy Flacke, co-founder and executive director, Commonwealth
  • John Garratt, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Dollar General
  • Mark Pearce, director of the Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Bruce Renard, executive director, The National ATM Council Inc.
  • Courtney Robinson, head of financial inclusion and public policy development, Square Inc.
  • Bob Skiba, executive vice president, InComm Payments
  • John M. Turner Jr., chief executive officer and president, Regions Bank
  • Silvanus J. Udoka,Ph.D., dean of the School of Business Administration, Clark Atlanta University
  • Robert Ward, senior vice president, Global Payments
  • Brian K. Williams, president, First Farmers and Merchants Bank in Columbia, Tennessee

Details and future work of the committee will be made available through the Promoting Safer
Payments Innovations section of the Atlanta Fed website.

Dr. Silvanus J. Udoka, Dean of Clark Atlanta University’s School of Business Administration. (Photo Credit: Courtesy/Clark Atlanta University)

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